Three years in the making, this work, released Jan 1st, is a mixture of recordings done in the Garden studio at Shoreditch and Hume’s home studio in east London. Joining her in this collaboration were Quinta (Bat for Lashes, Phil Selway) on saw and viola, Chris Letcher on guitar, Wesley Gibbens on drums and Andrew Joseph contributing some additional bass work. Influenced by poets like Silvia Plath and Emily Dickenson, Hume’s songs are distinctly rhythmic and unfolding.
She introduces the album with an apology. “I’m sorry I’ve been so poor a sister. I’ve been too much time with the drink and the dreamers.” This humble beginning develops into a folksy emotive strum as the decision is considered to either stay or flee.
Flowing from that are the poignant echoing questions of “Mirror” regarding soul and body, life and death. The layered voices signify separation from self as the piano and bells work well to lift the spirit in an upward journey.
Hume does a beautiful job of utilizing sounds to demonstrate the story of the song. Echoes trickle one on top of the other in the repetition of “Words flow like a spool of water.”
The bongo style drums give a more rooted, grounded feel to the title track that says, “So long I’ve been gone / Maybe after all, I did no harm.”
Slow steady plucking ensues as Hume observes the holes in the curtain appearing as early morning stars in her room. The disconnected syllables reflect the waking brain not quite making connections, but getting there. A waltz of morning readying follows, punctuated by sleepiness once again.
Hume snaps the listener from drowsiness with the rush of “Exiles.” This calms into the lilting country style “Fairground.” The ending track is a brief one of subdued echoes and strums, which create an effect of floating away.
Hume excuses herself for having been gone, stays awhile to indulge in some storytelling, and then drifts off once more. In ‘Landing’ she is like a friend for whom you have waited so long to visit, yet one whom you cannot keep long, and one you will miss all too soon.
Hear all songs on bandcamp.